National Insurance ultimatum: Tories tell Boris to ditch hated hike – or face No.10 axe

Tory MP calls Christian Wakeford defection 'rank hypocrisy'

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The MPs in question have stated that Mr Johnson must make a U-turn on the National Insurance hike if he wants to cling on to power in No. 10. The National Insurance increase is set to pay for extra NHS funding and social care. But many Tory MPs want it to be shelved for a year to help hard-up families cope with rising bills.

MPs last night wanted to delay the 1.25 percentage point National Insurance increase, set to come into effect in April.

Speaking to The Sun, one Tory MP said: “If he is going to stay, Boris needs a big reset.

“He needs to return to the issues which affect ordinary working people.

“He should shelve the rise, at least for this year.”

Former Cabinet minister John Redwood added: “It would help Boris massively to show he was thinking about the voters.

“He needs to show he is in touch with people frightened about paying their energy bills.”

However, last night Government insiders stressed such a move was not on the cards.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The NI uplift has been specifically dedicated to health and social care.

“It was right for the Prime Minister to have a dedicated tax rise to pay for those things.”

The threat from within the Prime Minister’s own party comes as he awaits the report into Downing Street’s pandemic parties.

The investigation by Sue Gray into the gatherings reportedly obtained an email yesterday showing that an aide to Mr Johnson was warned that the now infamous garden gathering of May 20, 2020, was against the rules.

The email is being investigated internally by a senior civil servant who has been tasked with establishing the facts of what happened during the lockdown breaching parties.

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Mr Johnson appeared on Sky News on Tuesday to defend himself against claims by Dominic Cummings, his former chief aide, that he was made aware that the May 20, 2020, party broke the lockdown rules.

Mr Cummings claimed the Prime Minister was lying to Parliament about his awareness of the parties.

This would be a breach of the ministerial code and therefore usually a resigning matter.

But Mr Johnson hit back, insisting: “I’m saying categorically that nobody told me, nobody said this was something that was against the rules.

“Doing something that wasn’t a work event because frankly, I can’t imagine why it would have gone ahead or it would have been allowed to go ahead if it was against the rules.”

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